Wang, C., Schürz, C., Zoboli, O., Zessner-Spitzenberg, M., Schulz, K., Watzinger, A., Bodner, G., & Mehdi-Schulz, B. (2021). N2O Emissions from Two Austrian Agricultural Catchments Simulated with an N2O Submodule Developed for the SWAT Model. Atmosphere, 13, 1–28. https://doi.org/10.34726/2081
SWAT; N2O submodule; N2O emission factor; agricultural catchments; model performance
Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a potent greenhouse gas stemming mainly from nitrogen (N)‐fertilizer application. It is challenging to quantify N2O emissions from agroecosystems because of the dearth of measured data and high spatial variability of the emissions. The eco‐hydrological model SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) simulates hydrological processes and N fluxes in a catchment. However, the routine for simulating N2O emissions is still missing in the SWAT model. A submodule was developed based on the outputs of the SWAT model to partition N2O from the simulated nitrification by applying a coefficient (K2) and also to isolate N2O from the simulated denitrification (N2O + N2) with a modified semi‐empirical equation. The submodule was applied to quantify N2O emissions and N2O emission factors from selected crops in two agricultural catchments by using NH4NO3 fertilizer and the combination of organic N and NO3− fertilizer as N input data. The setup with the combination of organic N and NO3− fertilizer simulated lower N2O emissions than the setup with NH4NO3 fertilizer. When the water balance was simulated well (absolute percentage error <11%), the impact of N fertilizer application on the simulated N2O emissions was captured. More research to test the submodule with measured data is needed.